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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

what's a matter with my pear tree? please help

Posted: 26/06/2012 at 23:00

Try searching Google Images for "pear blister mite" and see if the images match your leaves.

broad bean problems

Posted: 26/06/2012 at 22:53

They do need to be pollinated by bees, so that could be the problem.  How tall are they?  It's not unusual for the early (lower) flowers not to set though - a few days of good weather should bring out the bees if you are lucky!  There is also a fairly nasty disease called 'chocolate spot' - signs are obvious, but fingers crossed it's not that.

has a gas leak killed my euonymous

Posted: 26/06/2012 at 22:46

Unlikely that a gas leak will affect any plant.  Are there any spots on the leaves of the healthy parts? If there are brown spots with grey centres, it could be Anthracnos, a fungal disease.  Treatment for that is to remove all affected leaves and branches and spray with a copper-based fungicide.  It could also be being killed by the Leylandii roots robbing the soil of moisture and food, effectively starving it to death.

Plant ID Help Please

Posted: 26/06/2012 at 22:38

It's definitely one of the Willowherbs, probably Broad-leaved or possibly Rosebay.  If you let it seed, it will pop-up everywhere!

Talkback: How to prune a plum tree

Posted: 25/06/2012 at 18:50

Peter, it depends on when they flowered.  In my area it was very cold and wet when my apples and pears flowered, so there were no bees around and I had very little fruit set.  No bees = no fruit, unless you hand-pollinate them.  The other thing is feeding.  Fruit trees grown in pots need feeding regularly, as they soon use up what was in the original planting medium.  RHS advice on that is here:

Couch grass

Posted: 25/06/2012 at 18:38

It doesn't go really deep like bindweed, so a 6" (15cm) deep barrier would probably be enough, or 12" (30cm) to be sure, especially light soils.

My Garlic look more like shallots

Posted: 24/06/2012 at 12:56

Hi Tattianna,  Garlic, like onions, are really hungry plants, so I always mix a couple of handfuls of fish, blood & bone into  bucket of compost and trowel-in a handful of that mix into each planting position.  Even so, my garlic wasn't as good as usual this year either;  I'm putting it down the the weather - all of that rain probably washed a lot of the nutrients away and garlic does need some good hot sunny days towards its harvesting time..

Clematis pruning

Posted: 24/06/2012 at 11:48

Are they large flowers?  If so, they are probably Group 2 (early large flowered) and will produce a 2nd set of flowers later in the year.  What you should do now is remove all of the seedheads by snipping them off just above a pair of leaves.  The new shoots you are seeing will produce the 2nd crop of flowers and you can try and train this downwards to cover some of the bare areas.  That same growth will produce the early flowers next year.

You only do the main pruning in early spring.  If severe pruning is needed, you can cut them back to the lowest pair of buds on each main stem.  Doing that will mean you will lose the early flowers for that year, but they will still produce flowers later in the year.  If you do cut them back hard in spring (even to the ground if you can't find any buds on the lower parts of the stems), they will usually produce new shoots from below ground, effectively revitalising them.  If you do that, give them a good feed and mulch with a few inches of compost to build the soil level up at the roots.

To be sure of what variety and group they are, is there any chance you could upload some photos? Other clematis groups might need a slightly different approach.

No flowers on Clematis.

Posted: 23/06/2012 at 20:36

Hi Blueberry, I think the one you mean is Ville de Lyon.  The blue ones are General Sikorski.  The pale pink one with stripes (which is mostly hidden by leaves) is Bees Jubilee which has almost finished flowering and Ernest Markham is in there somewhere as well as the early Helsingborg which finished a few weeks ago.  There is supposed to be a Miss Bateman, too, but I think that popped its clogs over the winter!  I want a white in there, so trying to propagate from my Duchess of Edinburgh which is on another fence.

No flowers on Clematis.

Posted: 23/06/2012 at 17:06

I agree with the feeding recommendation.  I use potato fertilizer on all my clematis which do really well - just checked that and the N:P:K ratio is 4:2:7.  This mixed lot have an Ernest Markham in and underplanted with foxgloves to shade the roots:


Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 281
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 295
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 158
Last Post: 13/07/2014 at 18:04

Bob's guide to picking soft fruit

Only fto be read by your household's main gardener! 
Replies: 3    Views: 144
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 458
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 267
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 21:44

A week of rain = jungle garden!

It's been too wet to really do anything outside.. 
Replies: 16    Views: 510
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 349
Last Post: 24/04/2014 at 11:30

Check your delphiniums for caterpillars

Look for distorted and damaged leaves near the tips 
Replies: 10    Views: 424
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 205
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39


Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 507
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 513
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 48    Views: 3717
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57

Cost of bird food

bulk vs supermarket 
Replies: 31    Views: 1539
Last Post: 10/02/2014 at 12:33

Wild Garden (Community Channel)

On Freeview/Sky 
Replies: 5    Views: 472
Last Post: 10/12/2013 at 12:21
1 to 15 of 24 threads